PERCo to showcase solutions in Saudi Arabia

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PERCo equipment will be presented at the Intersec international security exhibition on 3-5 October 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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PERCo will showcase access control solutions demanded both in the Middle East and worldwide:

  • ST-11 Speed gate with swing panels and a built-in card capture reader: ST-11 Speed gate is distinguished by its compact design, which allows installing it within limited areas. The turnstile length is only 120cm. Due to its compact aesthetic design and functionality, it fits most interiors.
  • TTD-12A Motorized box tripod turnstile with built-in reader and barcode scanner: TTD-12А Box tripod turnstile made of stainless steel has a modular design that allows integrating different types of additional equipment: Barcode scanners, biometric readers, proximity card readers, coin acceptors, card capture readers, etc.
  • WMD-06 Swing gate: WMD-06 features a tempered glass swing panel available in two versions: with a standard panel (650 mm) or with an extended panel (900 mm) for convenient wheelchair access. In emergencies , the gate with the extended swing panel can be used as an additional emergency exit.
  • IRP-01 Reader post: IRP-01 reader post is an elegant solution designed to read proximity cards and to display the information if the access is granted or not.

You are welcome to visit Booth 1-G35 at Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center (RICEC).

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EAC-M90 Incedo Updater Controller unveiled by ASSA ABLOY

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In today’s dynamic business landscape, where offices, manufacturing plants, working spaces and multi-use facilities co-exist, organizations face an array of challenges, including the need for agile and future proof access control, reports ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMILIA.

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The rise of hybrid or flexible work arrangements, coupled with a demand for optimised space utilisation, requires businesses to carefully consider their access management solution
With the right solution, organisations can seamlessly secure virtually any entry point using either offline electronic locks or real time online devices.

Together with a range of credentials, Incedo Cloud enables users to access authorised areas using smartphones, smart keys or smart cards, all managed securely from a single, flexible, scalable platform.

EAC-M90 Incedo Updater Controller

The EAC-M90 Updater Controller empowers security managers with complete control over Aperio wireless locks and ASSA ABLOY Signo readers.

It enables updates to credentials, including PULSE programmable keys with RFID capability, ensuring access permissions remain up to date.

When integrated with an ASSA ABLOY Signo reader, each access event triggers the Incedo system to collect event logs, update individual access permissions or revalidate credentials, including our range of smart cards or battery-free smart keys, with the same credential working across connected/online and offline readers, enhancing security site-wide.

The EAC-M90 incorporates HID Seos technology and OSDP v2.1.7 protocol to ensure high security in every interaction between credentials, updater/controller and the system.

With the EAC-M90 and Incedo software, security and facilities managers achieve comprehensive and flexible control over their premises, without requiring a fully online system.

Enhancing facilities management

Facility managers benefit from the ability to oversee many device types, or sites, within a unified system.

Expanding access control, whether online or offline, to additional access points is simple and efficient, ensuring smooth onboarding.

For flexibility, the Incedo Cloud control panel offers secure administration from anywhere with an internet connection; regular and secure cloud software updates are automated, simplifying maintenance.

One significant advantage of Incedo Cloud is the high flexibility it offers security managers, who can deploy online and offline management at different access points within their facility.

For instance, high security access points like entrances and sensitive doors, such as those leading to labs or server rooms, can benefit from real time control.

Lower security areas, like meeting rooms, however, utilise offline devices for cost-effective access control, without the need for cables or communication hubs.

Incedo ensures that all aspects of security are managed seamlessly from a single, integrated software interface, combining the benefits of real time control with the straightforward deployment of offline electronic access management.

Implementing Incedo access control is straightforward: Businesses select hardware including the new EAC-M90 updater controller from a vast range, to add flexibility to their security system and control virtually any access point, including doors, cabinets, lockers, gates, server racks and more.

To learn more, download a datasheet on EAC-M90 Updater Controller here.

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Transmission solutions for securing critical infrastructure

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ISJ hears from Ronnie Pennington, Director of Sales for the Americas, Altronix.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) designates 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems and networks are considered vital to the country.

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So vital that, according to CISA, their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health and safety or any combination thereof.

When considering these sectors, commercial facilities, healthcare and financial services first come to mind due to their public facing nature.

However, critical infrastructure also includes food and agriculture, water systems and energy.

Despite their nuances, the security systems deployed at all of these sites necessitate reliable and consistent power.

However, new advanced power and data transmission solutions are available to overcome many, if not all, of the longstanding power distribution and data transmission challenges experienced by system designers and installers.

The power of 802.3bt

In order to understand how innovations in power and data transmission are changing the game for critical infrastructure installations, it is first important to understand the latest developments in power and data distribution that makes these innovations possible.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices have long been championed for their ability to carry both power and IP data over a single cable.

When first introduced, this breakthrough allowed installers to utilise low-voltage installation methods to significantly reduce costs, improve safety and save time.

Today, the latest IEEE PoE standard, 802.3bt PoE, grants installers these benefits and more to optimise essential installations.

802.3bt PoE marks a groundbreaking advancement in low voltage power distribution.

Often also referred to as 4PPoE or 4-Pair PoE, this standard maximises the potential of all four pairs of wires within an ethernet cable to deliver up to 90W per port.

802.3bt also supports multiple PoE classes and maintains backward compatibility, allowing integration with many pre-existing systems and devices.

The utilisation of 802.3bt switches, injectors and media converters enables the efficient distribution of more power to a diverse range of devices.

This includes the power-hungry equipment required of critical infrastructure sites including multi-sensor PTZ cameras, infrared illuminators, heaters, wireless access points and more.

Deploying network devices in any environment

To take advantage of the benefits afforded by 802.3bt, systems installers require adept power and transmission solutions to support the latest PoE devices in challenging environments.

New hardened PoE switches and media converters fit the bill, supporting the latest 802.3bt devices in remote locations with or without local power.

Utilising fibre, copper or hybrid cable, these devices extend power and data longer distances, when deploying end-point devices.

For example, advanced single and multi-port media converters provide centralised data connectivity from the edge over single or multimode fibreoptic cable to PoE switches in remote locations.

These switches can be installed on a pole, wall or fence to accommodate multiple powered devices.

The combination of fibre and copper connectivity can greatly reduce installation costs while centralising power and servicing.

This kind of solution is ideal for powering and connecting security devices such as cameras and illuminators with heaters in outdoor stadiums, parking lots and other areas where harsh conditions and minimal infrastructure are common.

New midspan injectors further complement the capabilities of hardened PoE switches by providing a convenient and cost-effective solution for powering security devices over Ethernet cables.

Top of the line injectors can deliver PoE up to 90W per port – making them 802.3bt compliant – and pass data at up to 1000 Mbps at distances up to 100m, again ideal for remote locations.

Lastly, PoE driven power supplies are a transformative breakthrough in the design and implementation of access control and other security systems in critical infrastructure.

By converting 4PPoE from an 802.3bt source into regulated 12VDC and 24VDC outputs, it supports multiple access devices and peripherals over a single category cable.

This streamlined method simplifies installation, as integrators can easily connect the PoE-driven power supply to an 802.3bt switch or midspan/injector, bypassing the need for an electrician.

Moreover, the ability to deliver multiple voltages proves advantageous in mitigating voltage drop issues along cable runs, ensuring reliable operation over longer distances.

With the added flexibility and cost optimisation of dual-voltage power supplies, deploying advanced video and access security solutions becomes more efficient and cost-effective.

Integrated battery backup

Ensuring the continuity of security in infrastructure contributes directly to the continuity of critical services.

The loss of power to an access control system installed at a healthcare facility, for example, could impede the facility from performing its core, life-saving functions.

Similarly, the absence of alerting functions from a fire alarm system could prove devastating in the energy or chemical sector.

Therefore, battery backup systems are a cornerstone of critical infrastructure protection.

Luckily, many of the power and data transmission solutions on the market today recognise this imperative and include built-in battery backup.

Top-of-the-line PoE switches will often include optimised chargers for Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries.

These chargers offer longer shelf life and more efficient charge cycles compared to traditional sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries. In fact, these switches utilise a single LiFePO4 battery for PoE backup, eliminating the need for four SLA batteries.

The integration of LiFePO4 battery charging in these switches provides advantages, including performance, cost-efficiency and reduced maintenance required of remote operations.

Remote management

Just as important as battery backup, the remote management of networked security systems plays an important role in maintaining critical infrastructure operations.

For many critical infrastructure sites, it is not feasible for security and maintenance teams to manually monitor every device in the field.

In these cases, the failure of a security device may not be known until it is too late and a breach has occurred.

Now, it is possible for security teams to manage their power and transmission devices remotely, across multiple sites from a single dashboard.

Think of remote power management solutions as the missing link between endpoint devices and operators, delivering real time data from power supplies and distribution devices for advanced situational awareness.

In this way, operators can remotely monitor, control and manage power from anywhere over the network. Administrators define performance parameters such as battery life or power output by channels.

If a device is reporting an interruption or an exception to the pre-defined parameters, notifications can be sent directly to authorised personnel for immediate remedial action.

Remote power management solutions support early intervention, promote preventative maintenance and, most importantly, minimise system downtime.

In critical infrastructure sites, this could make all the difference between a facility-wide shut down or a timely intervention.

By leveraging remote power management solutions, critical infrastructure teams can proactively address potential power-related problems, reducing the need for unnecessary service calls and minimising the total cost of ownership.

For integrators, remote power management solutions also offer a valuable opportunity to expand service offerings and generate recurring monthly revenue (RMR).

This comprehensive approach to power management improves security tenfold by delivering a proactive response to service interruptions and enabling 24/7 monitoring of critical security systems.

Meeting the standards

Securing critical infrastructure comes with its own set of unique challenges as it relates to regulatory compliance.

Meeting the standards set forth under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the United States Trade Agreements Act (TAA) and other applicable laws are non-negotiable for surveillance and other deployments in sectors such as government and defence.

Ensuring the power and transmission devices utilised in these sectors are compliant is equally as important.

This is also highly recommended, and often mandated, to utilise power management products that are UL listed.

UL certification guarantees rigorous testing and adherence to industry safety standards, ensuring the products’ reliability and safety.

And, while many analog power supplies for access control are UL listed, it is crucial to connect PoE devices only to UL listed PoE sources as specified in their requirements.

This helps maintain compliance with industry standards and regulations, reducing liability and potential risks associated with non-compliant installations.

Embracing a new imperative

Safeguarding critical infrastructure is a complex task that demands continuity in power and data transmission.

A lack of such continuity is a threat to national security, one that threat actors will willingly exploit if given the chance.

Integrating advanced transmission technologies helps ensure they do not have that chance.

Embracing these innovations is therefore not just a step forward; but rather an imperative stride toward securing the foundation of our nation’s backbone.

1-ISJ- Transmission solutions for securing critical infrastructure
Ronnie Pennington, Director of Sales for the Americas, Altronix

To find out more information, visit: https://solutions.altronix.com/

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Enhancing campus protection and response capabilities

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Kendra Noonan, Director of Communications, Shooter Detection Systems looks at what US schools are doing about the active shooter problem.Gun violence remains an ongoing concern in the US, with active shooter incidents seeming to occur all too frequently. High profile school shootings like those at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and Covenant School in Tennessee have grabbed international headlines and highlighted the threats students face.

With legislative action on gun control complex and solutions not immediate, many American schools are taking proactive measures to enhance safety and detect threats.

This article will look at four US schools deploying gunshot detection systems and highlight the ways they chose to integrate it into existing security infrastructures.

Facing the stark reality that gun violence is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, these schools aim to be ready to respond.

Their proactive tactics provide examples of how communities can come together to immediately make learning environments safer, while broader debates continue about preventing the root causes of violence.

North Providence Public Schools: North Providence, Rhode Island

Enterprise level protection – North Providence is a community of 32,500 inhabitants with a student to teacher ratio of 14 to one.

Passionate about school security, the town’s public safety and police leaders engaged Shooter Detection Systems (SDS) to learn about its indoor gunshot detection system for school buildings.

After assessing floor plans and evaluating entry and exit pathways, North Providence Police, school leadership and the municipality’s facilities teams agreed on threat areas and sensor locations.

Once installed, SMS, email and floorplan map alerts were configured for the school’s administrators and local police so stakeholders can be notified if shots are detected within any of the school buildings.

The school and the town also wanted to leverage integration with its existing VMS.

The result is that each school in the network can automatically track, transmit and record video of shooter activity to improve building evacuation and reduce police response time.

Integration with a VMS is one of the most common deployment strategies, allowing users to visually identify an assailant’s clothing, weapon type or, in the case of an accidental weapon discharge, intent.

Following the installation, a live-fire exercise was conducted with the system.

The North Providence Police Department demonstrated how shot frequency and location was made immediately available with the SDS floorplan mapping software to an audience of concerned parents and media alike.

This test demonstrated how quickly on-duty officers and school staff could visually locate and track confirmed gunshot signatures and then directly target the threat.

Centner Academy: Miami, Florida

Response time means everything – Centner Academy is a private school focusing on a unique blend of student academics, wellbeing and security.

Centner Academy has two campuses supporting over 300 pre-kindergarten to middle school students and 90 faculty.

Centner’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Ms. Leila Centner, has made the security of her schools a priority by adopting an automated, multi-layered approach.

When the school’s security systems vendor recommended indoor gunshot detection, the concept immediately made sense to her.

“With how crazy our world has become – hearing all these stories in the news, gun shootings happening at schools – it interested me right away that we can add another layer of protection for our schools, our faculty and our students,” said Centner.

In addition to engaging two armed guards, Centner has implemented over 200 security cameras.

The school’s security integrator worked with SDS to integrate shooter detection into its video system to pull live camera views to the scene upon gunshot notification.

The security vendor also integrated shooter detection into the school’s access control system. When a gunshot is detected, the access control system is automatically programmed to initiate zone-specific lockdown procedures, removing the human errors that can naturally occur under duress.

Pinkerton Academy: Derry, New Hampshire

Open yet secure – Pinkerton Academy is the largest independent high school in the US. On the main campus, 16 of the school’s 26 buildings are used for academics.

Maintaining an open and welcoming environment is a key goal for the school’s board of trustees, which presents additional security challenges faced by the school and most campus style education environments.

Based on recommendations from a 2018 New Hampshire School Safety Preparedness Task Force, Pinkerton Academy’s Board of Trustees chose to hire a School Marshal to help improve campus safety; this person is employed and appointed by a board of trustees in a school district, which operates as the governing body for this type of educational institution, whose goal is to prevent any offence that threatens serious injury or death to their community.

Eric Kester, a former Derry Police Lieutenant, accepted the role and is now Director of Security/School Marshal, Pinkerton.

While indoor gunshot detection was already identified as a valuable tool by the NH Task Force, Marshal Kester had an additional reason to introduce indoor gunshot detection at Pinkerton – his own experience with similar technology in the military.

After talking with other schools, Marshal Kester reached out to its school’s security integrator and SDS to help develop and execute a campus-wide project using indoor gunshot detection.

“We can’t always predict if it’s going to occur, but we can try to delay the violent intruder so that our response has time to effectively stop the threat,” said Marshal Kester.

“The selling point for us was that it puts all our first responders immediately ‘on the X’. We know exactly where the problem is and we don’t have to waste time communicating what the problem is.”

Hooksett School District: Hooksett, New Hampshire

A comprehensive approach to school security – Hooksett is a community of 14,542 inhabitants with a student to teacher ratio of 13 to one.

Academic achievement, through constantly improving standards, is the district’s highest priority and it takes security just as seriously.

As a part of a multi-faceted approach to address an active shooter threat, Hooksett School District was the first school district in the state of New Hampshire to install gunshot detection in its school buildings.

After a review of available gunshot detection technologies, the Hooksett School Board and Superintendent selected SDS due to its proven performance history at other schools across the country and its certified technology integrations with the schools’ current systems.

The integrator worked with the schools to integrate gunshot detection alerts with additional technologies to maximise incident identification and tracking that gunshot detection provides.

When a gunshot occurs, the public address system will now alert building occupants and the video management system will pull live video feed of the incident, giving first responders within the school a visual of the situation in real time.

SDS’ mapping software, displaying the Hooksett sites and gunshot sensor locations, is monitored in the school’s security centre and at Hooksett PD dispatch.

Schools like Hooksett are taking a layered approach to security, recognising there is no one size fits all solution.

In addition to the implementation of gunshot detection, the school district collaborated with the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security, the Hooksett Police Department and the Hooksett Fire Department to assess the safety needs of the schools along with providing feedback to enhance emergency procedures.

The district has also trained staff in first aid, CPR and emergency management practices whilst also investing in surveillance and walkie-talkie systems.

Innovative gunshot detection systems are just one way schools are acting to enhance protection and response capabilities.

These four examples showcase how deploying such technology can provide critical, lifesaving data to first responders when seconds matter.

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A cohesive approach to facilities management

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By integrating cutting-edge systems, facilities management teams can streamline security and enhance operational efficiency.

When it comes to the relationship between security and facilities management, the integration of technologies that do more than simply protect is extremely valuable.

In fact, across the industry – and in support of numerous other roles and sectors – integration is proving successful from both a safety and efficiency perspective. Such an approach simplifies facilities management.

As Tim Purpura, Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, Morse Watchmans explains: “The facilities management sector finds itself at a crucial juncture as it navigates the complexities of the new digital-physical landscape.

“But,” continues Purpura, “in the pursuit of digital-physical convergence, facilities managers are faced with the challenge of striking the right balance between legacy solutions and cutting-edge technologies.

“Security solutions are well suited to provide a happy medium. After all, facilities and security go hand in hand. By seamlessly integrating security measures into the fabric of facility management, these solutions not only protect against potential threats but also enhance the overall efficiency and functionality of the facility.”

“This harmonious combination ensures that the facility remains a safe and conducive environment for occupants while optimising operations for the benefit of all stakeholders,” Purpura adds.

The power of integration

Facilities management teams are no stranger to integration.

In fact, the role of such teams is typically constructed around processes of multiple systems management, paired with the movements and demands of people, often against a backdrop of operational technology.

This makes the integration of modern security systems both ideal and seamless, particularly when such technology can be used to manage difficult-to-track assets like keys or can provide valuable data capable of improving business efficiency and oversight.

Like with any application, however, integration is not the answer to every challenge; this makes it critical to partner with companies that not only offer reliable solutions and support, from installation to completion, but that can recommend solutions which truly address the pain-points facing a facilities management team.

Moreover, solutions which can complement systems and do not disrupt existing protocols and strategies are, naturally, desirable.

This also ensures that the human element is truly alive within an operation, something extremely valuable when it comes to managing experiences, systems and safety.

“At Morse Watchmans, we believe the best example of security-facilities convergence and digital-physical convergence is key control,” Purpura continues.

“At their most basic level, key control systems securely protect keys in a key cabinet that can only be released to authorised users, thus exemplifying security.

“But, under the surface, key control also uses advanced technology to address various pain points for facilities teams including reporting, compliance, occupancy management and more, thus exemplifying a powerful synergy between security and facilities management in the evolving digital-physical landscape.”

Purpura concludes: “As the facilities management sector continues to evolve, embracing the seamless integration of security and facility management technologies will be critical.

“Key control serves as a testament to the potential of a cohesive approach, where security and facilities work in harmony to create a secure, productive and futureproof environment.”

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How Traka’s solutions are revolutionising autism care

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Traka’s Raffaele Ceravolo explains how Anderson Center for Autism utilizes electronic key management to enhance facility management and safety.

As the healthcare industry evolves and becomes more sophisticated, so does the need for security in specialized residential schools.

For residential programs housing vulnerable populations, safety goes beyond conventional measures and demands a comprehensive and efficient solution in keeping with the residential life atmosphere.

One school that has taken security to the next level is Anderson Center for Autism, located in Staatsburg, NY, US.

Anderson Center for Autism is a 100+ acre residential school serving school-age children with autism.

Anderson supports over 130 residential and 14 students attending school while living at home in nearby communities.

Set in a bucolic landscape, Anderson Center provides a “home away from home” for students benefiting from 24-hour care and instruction.

One of Dutchess County, NY’s largest employers, Anderson’s team comprises nearly 900 staff members.

Its buildings with access needs for several departments present an ecosystem that requires an innovative security approach.

One of the primary security fixtures on campus is the electronic key cabinet in the main lobby; the cabinet houses over 70 keys to various departments and equipment throughout the campus and is a centralized hub for critical access control.

The key cabinet also sends an important message to current and prospective residents and families – that the safety of everyone is a top priority.

Enhanced security and efficiency

The cabinet’s location in the lobby is not by coincidence, but by design, communicating the facility’s commitment to security.

Before installing the key cabinet, the facility operated with a pegboard system, requiring staff members to check out a key manually from the operations department for any vehicle or access to a designated room.

The manual system created issues, particularly with after-hours access.

Security challenges are not typically confined to a nine to five schedule, which causes difficulties if a coordinator is not present on-site.

Additionally, keys not returned on time create an inaccurate inventory of shared assets in the facility.

However, after implementing the key cabinet system, Anderson Center for Autism saw improvements in workflow and processes, especially with its fleet of shared vehicles.

Instead of accessing a vehicle key from an employee, staff scan ID badges and check out a vehicle key directly from the cabinet.

The coordinator in charge of monitoring can immediately track which employee has which vehicle and receive an alert if the user misses the curfew.

Furthermore, users can log any faults the vehicle is experiencing directly to the interface, which helps extend vehicle longevity while saving time and money.

As a result, the coordinator can address issues and even remove a vehicle from service.

Implementing an electronic key cabinet has also made access to the healthcare campus more efficient.

Anderson Center can now grant access to various support personnel and contractors daily, whether to cut down a tree, fix a plumbing issue or repair a window.

The operation coordinators can assign access remotely to a specific key that accesses a tool room and attach a curfew to ensure that the contractor returns it by a particular time.

This cabinet feature has helped ease the strain on operations staff, who no longer need to be present to assign access to keys and can easily monitor the usage of all keys from employees and outside parties.

Medicine distribution is another critically important sector that now utilizes the key cabinet.

Residents of Anderson Center have unique medical needs and require access to the appropriate medication, making it vital for personnel to secure access to medicine cabinet keys in a centralized, controlled location.

The key cabinet’s central location allows staff to simplify the monitoring process and protect against unauthorized access to critical keys.

With the key cabinet, the Anderson Center knows who accessed the medicine cabinet keys and when a team member returned them.

Within six months of using the key cabinet, word traveled on how operations utilized the key management system and the benefits they saw.

As a result, other departments in the facility inquired about how they could leverage the system.

Anderson Center Chief Facilities Officer Jose Castillo asked: “What’s important for you?” This question is essential for every healthcare organisation to ask itself, with the follow-up question of: “What are we not thinking of?” concerning security access.

The safety and well being of residents at Anderson Center for Autism is paramount. The key cabinet in the main lobby underscores this commitment to safety.

As families walk through the entrance, they see the key cabinet and realize the facility proactively addresses security needs by constantly evaluating technologies to leverage critical key management.

In a rapidly evolving healthcare industry, Anderson Center for Autism has set a new standard for intelligent key management, demonstrating technology’s crucial role in enhancing security in healthcare facilities.

Through innovative security measures, many residential programs can instill confidence in residents while creating operational efficiencies for employees.

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G4S and Allied Universal unveil World Security Report

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G4S and Allied Universal have confirmed the publication of a highly anticipated World Security Report.

This unique, first-of-its-kind report has highlighted that global companies lost a combined $1t in revenue in 2022 due to physical security incidents.

The report also suggests that economic unrest could be the greatest security-impacting hazard in the next 12 months.

World Security Report

The G4S and Allied Universal World Security Report documents the opinions of 1,775 chief security officers (CSO) or those in equivalent positions from 30 countries.

Working for global companies with a combined annual revenue of more than $20t, the companies have confirmed that CSO participation was both independent and anonymous.

“As the world’s leading security company, we commissioned this report for the benefit of the entire industry and the companies we protect,” said Steve Jones, Global Chairman and CEO, Allied Universal.

“It comes at a time when organisations across the globe are increasingly navigating more complex security hazards and threats.

“The research shows the impact of security threats on organisations is multidimensional – from the disruption of productivity to the loss of customers, to the potentially staggering financial impact.”

“Global businesses are facing increased security threats, a tight labor market globally and rapidly changing technology that presents new risks and requires different skills,” added Ashley Almanza, Executive Chairman, G4S.

“In addition, executive boards are grappling with balancing physical and cybersecurity alongside other priorities.

“The World Security Report helps our entire industry and the wider business community better understand and operate in the challenging, global and fast-moving security landscape.”

World Security Report: Key findings

  • Economic unrest was reported by 47% as the greatest security-impacting hazard in the next 12 months, up from 39% in the previous year
  • Climate change events are on the rise and the second most concerning hazard, with 38% saying they may be impacted in the next year
  • This was followed by social unrest (35%), disruption to energy supplies (33%) and war or political instability (32%)
  • Leaking of sensitive information is expected to be the biggest internal threat in the next 12 months according to 36% of respondents
  • Misuse of company resources or data was the most common internal incident with 35% of companies having experienced this already over the last 12 months
  • Fraud is expected to be the biggest external threat in the next year, predicted by 25% of CSOs
  • Fraud and phishing and social engineering were the most common external security incidents experienced in the last 12 months (23%)
  • The threat from two groups, subversives, hackers, protestors or spies and economic criminals, are likely to soar, with 50% and 49% of respondents predicting they will be impacted by these groups
  • Security budgets represented approximately $660 billion (3.3%) of global revenue at respondent companies in 2022
  • Physical security budgets at 46% of respondent companies are set to significantly increase in the next 12 months
  • AI is top of the agenda for future physical security technology investment, with 42% intending to invest in AI and AI-powered surveillance over the next five years
  • Cyber-threats that threaten physical security systems are challenging to operations according to nine out of ten respondents
  • CSOs reported a disconnect between physical security incidents and the importance placed on them at board level; nine in ten CSOs said leaders are more concerned about cyber than physical security
  • Eight in ten (84%) said recruitment of security professionals will be challenging over the next five years
  • Nine in ten (92%) said people skills are more important than physical attributes of strength in front-line security professionals

Read the full report here.

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Morse Watchmans: Facilitating facilities management

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Tim Purpura, Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, Morse Watchmans explains how key control meets all the criteria essential for effective facilities management.

Facilities management is a broad discipline that encompasses a wide range of services, from maintenance to security and beyond.

To complete these services, facilities managers have a number of tools in their kit, each designed to perform a specific function.

But, as business operations continue to strive towards digital-physical convergence, it is becoming more and more complex for facilities managers to determine the right tools of the trade.

There seems to be a choice: The first is to conserve the budget and make do with the legacy solutions, sacrificing integration and efficiency.

The second is to adopt new technologies without giving much thought to the infrastructure in place, creating a gap in security and operations.

Key control solutions offer facility managers a true middle ground.

Why key control?

It is unlikely that any building, facility or organisation is without keys.

This is true whether it is a standalone retail store or a multinational billion-dollar business.

Keys have been in use for thousands of years, used to secure everything from doors to equipment lockers, file cabinets and more.

During the 1990s, Morse Watchmans realised that there was a need for companies to track sensitive keys.

With Morse Watchmans already having been a leader in security with a sound business relationship, and the trust of so many, companies were not afraid to share their key concerns with us.

We learned that companies were storing their irreplaceable master keys on pegs inside locked strongboxes and that many of these same companies employed full time workers to distribute keys and maintain reports, 24/7.

We were also made aware of how mistakes were made and how employees took advantage of this system. Keys that were lost or stolen created costly risks.

This system lacked the control and flexibility facilities management teams required to support the organisation’s core business operations.

Herein lies the beauty of a key control system; key control marries conventional security measures with the needs of modern facilities through technology.

Security at the heart

Facilities management and security are directly intertwined, forming the backbone of a safe and functional environment.

Collaborating on emergency preparedness, risk management and incident response, these two disciplines work hand in hand to ensure the smooth operation of business.

Key control does the same, keeping keys safe to mitigate security risks such as violence, theft and vandalism, while simultaneously enabling a host of other facilities management functionalities.

The core of key control’s security functions starts with its ability to safeguard against inappropriate access to critical keys.

Key control systems securely store keys in an enclosure with each key uniquely assigned and tracked.

Authorised users gain access to specific keys by providing credentials, such as a PIN or biometric authentication, which grants them permission to remove a key from its designated compartment.

This allows teams to manage and track access to various areas throughout a building or across multiple buildings, thus minimising the risk of unauthorised entry or loss of keys.

Key control modules can also house proximity cards used in access control systems, adding another layer of security and oversight to buildings with existing access control systems.

Integrated software further enhances the security capabilities of a key control system.

A user-friendly interface allows administrators to manage and configure access permissions, generate detailed reports and receive notifications about activities.

Additionally, one or several key control systems can be integrated with other security systems, such as access control or video surveillance, creating a holistic solution.

Key control applications

On the surface, the aforementioned functions of key control appear to be security focused.

However, when applied to facilities management, these functions can be applied to meet a number of organisational needs relating to efficiency, accountability, resource management and more:

Emergency preparedness – the unfortunate reality is that facility managers must prepare for every foreseeable emergency the business may encounter, including an active shooter event, natural disaster, fire or other crisis.

To do so, facility teams will often create a detailed crisis management strategy, for which key control should play an essential role.

Take schools for example: It is not uncommon for the school and classrooms to be locked to outside access during an emergency.

While the intent is to mitigate unauthorised access, locked doors can exacerbate first responder response times if they are unable to unlock building or classroom doors quickly.

Any locked area thereby becomes a risk to those inside while uncontrolled access threatens a facility with unauthorised entry.

By utilising a centralised key control system, facilities of all types can ensure that emergency keys are securely housed and readily accessible to local first responders.

Using a unique PIN code or other designated credential, responding officers or school resource officers (SROs) can swiftly retrieve required keys, enabling them to enter and address the situation promptly.

These procedures are then written into the facility’s larger crisis management strategy and implemented during drills.

Operational efficiency – maintenance is another central function of facilities management teams that relies heavily on the use of keys.

What’s more, facilities managers may oversee a large number of staff members who all utilise a variety of maintenance keys.

These could be keys to storage facilities, individual buildings or rooms, heavy machinery and even fleet vehicles.

But, with a centralised key control system, personnel can quickly access the keys necessary for completing required tasks.

This effectively eliminates time consuming searches for the right key, reliance on multiple key copies and promotes staff accountability.

Facility management can also easily control the system remotely to maximise its reporting and access capabilities.

For example, if an employee working the late shift calls sick at the last minute, and another staff member must cover for that individual, it’s much easier for the manager to remotely authorise access to a key cabinet than to physically travel to the site to release a key.

By providing a streamlined process for accessing and returning keys, maintenance teams can promptly respond to requests while ensuring that doors are secured and unlocked as needed.

Contractor management – contractor management and facilities management are closely related since facilities managers often need to contract out labour or services to third party providers in order to complete specialised projects within a facility.

In doing so, managers may be charged with coordinating contractor schedules and access, monitoring contractor performance and ensuring contractor compliance with safety regulations and organisational standards.

Key control systems allow facility managers to remotely grant localised access, empowering contractors with physical access to the areas and tools required to perform their job for the period of time they will be there and nothing more.

This functionality ensures that tradesmen such as plumbers or HVAC technicians have access only to the areas of a building they need without giving access to the entire building.

Not only does this safeguard facilities from unauthorised access, but also upholds the principle of least privilege established under zero trust security models.

What’s more, the key control software keeps a record of contractors’ key usage, allowing administrators to track a worker’s activities.

If an asset goes missing, it is possible to know who had physical access to that asset last based on the key control reports generated.

Alerts can also be sent to the facility manager if an individual tries to remove a key that he/she is not authorised to use or attempts to leave the building without returning a key.

This granular level of key control allows for unparalleled oversight, ensuring contractors remain accountable and on-task during assignments.

Addressing pain points

Key control systems have also become indispensable tools for facilities management due to their ability to address pain points faced by facility teams in day-to-day responsibilities.

For example, many facility managers find it difficult to maintain regulatory compliance while conducting their routine functions.

However, today’s key control systems make it easier for management to comply with industry and government regulations pertaining to key control and access management.

This is especially true for industries such as casinos and law enforcement that have strict procedures in place relating to authorised access and chain of custody.

Key control and related auditing functions help ensure that security obligations are being met in highly regulated environments.

Key control systems are also a cost-effective solution that proactively reduces a facility’s security spend.

By reducing the possibility of lost keys and limiting access to master keys to authorised individuals, organisations can save thousands in unforeseen re-keying costs.

Moreover, an electronic key control deployment can eliminate many time-consuming, costly procedures related to manual key management.

With digital key control, there is no more wasted time standing in long lines, no more signing logbooks and no more buddy punching, resulting in proven ROI for facility teams.

Lastly, it is important to consider the capabilities of key control that go beyond the management of traditional keys.

Morse Watchmans’ systems are infinitely customisable to include various modules for physical keys, access cards and even lockers to manage larger objects with extreme efficiency and control.

Asset management lockers are ideal for housing equipment such as radios or laptops as well as personal staff items like cell phones.

Fleet management tools also compliment the capabilities of electronic key control, empowering facilities management teams with control over business fleet vehicles and delivering actionable insights on fleet utilisation for operations optimisation.

The evolving role of key control

Facility managers are the people who make sure we have the safest and best experience possible in our place of work.

In this way, it helps to think of key control as a complement, rather than a replacement, to facility managers.

From minimising security risks to optimising resource utilisation, key control helps teams execute the processes that make their built environment succeed.

In the future, we can expect to see the benefits of key control for facilities management continue to expand beyond security and operational functions to include business intelligence and data-driven automation.

At Morse Watchmans, we are also reimagining the human element of key control, developing new, comprehensive solutions designed to save lives and improve outcomes for all stakeholders.

It’s all part of our outside-the-box thinking – that you’ll find right inside the box.

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Check Point Infinity Portal unveiled in the UAE

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Check Point Software has confirmed the launch of its new Check Point Infinity Portal exclusively for businesses operating in the UAE.

The unified security management platform will reportedly help provide UAE organisations with tools for threat prevention and security management.

Comprehensive and compliant

According to the company, the new platform consolidates the capabilities of the Check Point Infinity architecture into a single pane of glass.

It operates in accordance with UAE data privacy regulations, ensuring the secure retention of data within the nation’s borders. Alpilean

Check Point’s solution covers a broad spectrum, from networks and cloud services to IoT devices, endpoints and mobile entities.

General availability of the Infinity Portal in the UAE is set for end of Q3 2023.

“Bringing forth the Check Point Infinity Portal”

“In an era where the UAE is rapidly establishing itself as a digital frontrunner, the imperatives of data privacy and robust cybersecurity cannot be overlooked,” said Ram Narayanan, Country Manager at Check Point Software Technologies, Middle East.

“Through our strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), we are bringing forth the Check Point Infinity Portal.

“It is meticulously crafted to align with the nation’s data privacy norms, ensuring the utmost security and data retention within the UAE.”

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Acre security confirms major growth in 2023

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Acre security has unveiled its impressive growth trajectory for the first half of 2023.

This trajectory is marked by a steady adoption of cloud-based access control solutions.

“Unparalleled solutions and support”

According to acre security, this growth has also been defined by its expanding international reach and enhancement of its mobile solutions.

As demand grows for cloud-based access control, the flexibility and scalability of acre’s solutions enable customers to address increased risks and further support operations.

“The growing adoption of our cloud-enabled access control solutions underscores their effectiveness and the confidence our clients envision in our offerings,” commented Don Joos, CEO, acre security.

“Coupled with our global growth and the continuous enhancement of our technology portfolio, we’re well poised to offer unparalleled solutions and support to high growth markets.”

“Significant global growth”

acre’s Feenics platform offers multiple features that cater to the requirements of modern businesses across numerous applications.

“Cloud-based solutions are witnessing significant global growth,” added Harm Radstaak, Chief Strategy Officer and President, acre international.

“In line with this trend, we’re introducing Feenics to several markets, the United Arab Emirates being one, that are primed to embrace the proven benefits of cloud solutions for security applications.”

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